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Do I hold my Shih Tzu too much?

August 15th, 2007, 09:30 PM
I have a 15 week old little sweetie, Charlie...he is an adorable little Shih Tzu, and he started his puppy socialization classes last night, and the poor little guy was absolutely terrified of all the other dogs...he just clung to me like a spoiled child...panting and shaking. I felt horribly for him, but I wanted him to try to play with the others, but no way! He wanted nothing but to be held, and to get out of there! Due to his size, age, etc...I am afraid I have 'babied' him..picking him up and taking him places, cuddling him, holding him at every opportunity, because I love him so....?? Could I have made a huge mistake?? Any advice? I want him to be sociable...I have 5 cats in the house, and he is great playing with them...but other dogs, that is another story! Help me! I don't want Charlie to fail Kindergarten!

August 15th, 2007, 09:43 PM
Is anyone else there his size that you could introduce ? Do you have any other puppies in your neighbourhood or can you make arrangements with someone in your class for playdates at your house / his local park ? He may have just been overwhelmed by the whole class environment, lots of stimuli there !!

August 15th, 2007, 09:48 PM
There were larger (lab puppies) and smaller (a yorkie, a jack russell)...but poor sweet Charlie...he was just so intimidated...??? Maybe a trip to our local pet store that is dog-friendly..??...I don't think it was the was just the other animals in general...he only wanted was strange, because he has the cats and he rolls and tumbles with them, but he was totally different at his classes

August 15th, 2007, 09:54 PM
you need to slowly work up his socialization in addition to the class, start w/pet food stores take him there - let him walk don't carry him, same w/walks down the street, to a park that kinda thing

a lot of little dogs do get held too much - even though it's sometimes easier than walking them, try to wean him a little on the picking up every once in a while instead of picking him up call him to walk with you tell him good boy, make him see he can do it on his own.

August 15th, 2007, 09:57 PM
I'd be a little careful about taking him to pet stores. Especially if he's not fully vaccinated. Other than that, all the other advice sounds right :thumbs up .

August 15th, 2007, 10:01 PM
yeah I meant to say pet SUPPLY-only store not pet store

August 15th, 2007, 10:04 PM
he is vaccinated to for his age....we have lots of large breed dogs in our neighbourhood...bulldogs, labs, boxers....I am kinda reluctant to let Charlie 'play' with the big boys! But I will do what it takes to make him a good pet..and I know he has to learn.....keep the info coming! I love to hear from anyone who has advice!

August 15th, 2007, 10:23 PM
Go slow and easy so as not to traumatize him. Finding another small puppy or two for him to get to know would be a great starting point. Just check to make sure that they are fully vaccinated and de-wormed as well.

August 16th, 2007, 09:16 AM
Yep. You hold him too much.

But - don't fret. At 15 weeks, you probably haven't done any permanent "damage".

Next week, at class, wade right in there and play with all of those puppies. Show Charlie that they are ok. And don't pick him up or coddle him if he comes crying to you. Don't "oh, poor baby" him. The tone of voice you use for that will encourage his behaviour. Use a happy voice, tell him he is being a silly boy (remember, he doesn't understand a word of English) and love up on the pup that is chasing him. This will distract the "attacker" and show him that the "attacker" is ok.

Keep with it. A lot of these little dogs can have major issues that are VERY difficult to get past if you can't get through this now. (If you don't believe me, you can come meet my nutso pom! :rolleyes: )

August 16th, 2007, 06:51 PM
Wow! Great advice! Thanks! I will let you know how that works! I know I shouldn't baby so so hard to do! But, I know I need to let him be a bit more adventurous...but I'm a first timer with a puppy, and I am very enthused with him ...Thanks again!